Better healthcare can reduce the risk of COVID-19 in-hospital post-partum maternal death: evidence from Brazil.
OBJECTIVE: COVID-19 in post-partum women is commonly overlooked. The present study assessed whether puerperium is an independent risk factor of COVID-19 related in-hospital maternal death and whether fatality is preventable in the Brazilian context. METHODS: We retrospectively studied the clinical data of post-partum/pregnant patients hospitalized with COVID-19 gathered from a national database that registered severe acute respiratory syndromes (SIVEP-Gripe) in Brazil. Logistic regressions were used to examine the associations of in-hospital mortality with obstetric status and with the type of public healthcare provider, adjusting for socio-demographic, epidemiologic, clinical and healthcare-related measures. RESULTS: As of 30 November 2021, 1943 (21%) post-partum and 7446 (79%) pregnant patients of age between 15 and 45 years with COVID-19 that had reached the clinical endpoint (death or discharge) were eligible for inclusion. Case-fatality rates for the two groups were 19.8% and 9.2%, respectively. After the adjustment for covariates, post-partum patients had almost twice the odds of in-hospital mortality compared with pregnant patients. Patients admitted to private (not-for-profit) hospitals, those that had an obstetric centre or those located in metropolitan areas were less likely to succumb to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Those admitted to the Emergency Care Unit had similar mortality risk to those admitted to other public healthcare providers. CONCLUSION: We demonstrated that puerperium was associated with an increased odds of COVID-19-related in-hospital mortality. Only part of the risk can be reduced by quality healthcare such as non-profit private hospitals, those that have an obstetric centre or those located in urban areas.